Weekly Environmental News – March 17, 2013

Compulsory Integration and Hydraulic Fracturing in New York
New Yorkers that oppose Hydraulic Fracturing beneath their property may not have a choice based on 2005 legislation.  The so-called “compulsory integration” rules, which exist in 39 states across the country, essentially force property owners to sell the oil or gas beneath their property.  The rules allow oil and gas companies to drill for gas beneath unwilling property owner’s parcels “once 60 percent of the land around the well is leased or owned.”  Unfortunately, oil and natural gas, like water and air pollution, do not recognize property boundaries

CITES Moves to Protect tree species, Prevent Black Market Timber
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) recently met at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Bangkok, Thailand March 3rd through the 14th, 2013.  During this time it was decided that several species of rare Rosewood from Southeast Asia and South America as well as Ebony from Madagascar would now be protected under Appendix 2.  Thus both importers and exporters would require a valid permit or face strict international trade sanctions for violations.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47836259@N08/4380368692/sizes/m/in/photostream/ by BrianWpic via flikr

Florida Manatee

Manatee Deaths caused by Red Tide at an all time High
241 Manatees have been killed by Red Tide Algae Blooms likely brought on early by Florida’s warmer than usual winter.  2013 already surpasses the record high of 151 deaths, which occurred in 1996.  Many additional casualties are expected in the coming months during what is more typically the Red Tide “season.” Toxins naturally occurring in Red Tide cause seizures and paralysis in the endangered species, often leading to fatal drowning.  Red Tide is both ingested by Manatees as they eat sea grasses and inhaled when they surface for air.

Reclaimed Farmland, Salt Marshes, and Carbon Sinks
Scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) have found that reclaimed farmland that has been transformed into a salt marsh functions as a Carbon Sink in the same way that natural salt marshes do.  Both the natural and reclaimed land were found to absorb up to 0.92 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year.  The UK’s Coastal Management Realignment Program sponsors the process of letting the land revert to its natural state.

Oregonian Experts Warn of Mega-quake and Tsunami
The Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, a group of more than 150 volunteer experts, found that The Cascadia Subduction Zone, which lies just off the Northwest regional coastline, is past due for a monster quake and tsunami.  The area produced a mega-quake in the year 1700.  Another monster quake and tsunami are overdue.

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